There’s ‘Snow’ Stopping It
As quickly as the snow piled up on Tuesday, so, too, did the traffic for commuters heading home in the middle of the blizzard.
Trips that usually took 20 minutes stretched to up to three hours for some, especially any who braved the snowy roads after 3 p.m.
Commack resident Annie Groller left work at Huntington Hospital with a friend at around 2:15 p.m. Tuesday. The pair said it too them about 90 minutes to get to their Commack homes, and about an hour of that time was spent on Park Avenue heading to Jericho Turnpike.
“I think the problem was going up that small hill near Broadway on Park Avenue. People were having a hard time getting up that hill; we saw a car fish-tailing and slipping,” she said. “My friend who was driving is just wonderful and is my savior. Kudos to her for driving a stick in the snow.”
It took Groller’s daughter, Alex Eliades, who was driving home to Commack from her job at the Huntington Quadrangle in Melville, almost three hours to make the trip. She started her trek home on Route 110 at 3 p.m., and after about 45 minutes, found herself finally on the Long Island Expressway. It took an hour just to move from exit 49 to 50, she said, and when she finally made it to Jericho Turnpike, it was a parking lot.
“I saw an accident on 231 going from where you get off the highway to Jericho,” Eliades said. “There was a car that spun out and another car hit the side of a car on a hill…It was just crazy because everyone was just out of work and on the road at the same time.”
According to the National Weather Service, Huntington accumulated 9.5 inches from Tuesday’s storm. Commack recorded 12 inches of snow by 11:10 p.m. on Tuesday. On Wednesday morning, East Northport measured 11.5 inches and Centerport, 9.5.
Town Supervisor Frank Petrone declared a snow emergency starting Tuesday afternoon, and school districts were released early on Tuesday and closed on Wednesday.
Although snow was heavy and driving conditions were deteriorating, local fire departments did not seem to have many emergency calls. A Northport Fire Department dispatcher said, “We had absolutely nothing.” Cold Spring Harbor and Halesite Fire Departments had no calls Tuesday or Tuesday night either.
According to Dix Hills Fire Chief William Stio, the Dix Hills Fire Department had only one emergency, which was a house fire that was not storm-related.
Meanwhile, Melville Fire Chief Mike McKeefrey said the Melville Fire Department received fewer calls than they did during the last big snowstorm on Jan. 3.
“We had an average number of calls,” he said. “[There were] a few car accidents- nothing of any major consequence. It was better than the last storm!”